Sunday, March 18, 2012

Banned Books of India Archive

Last week I read through an article in the Hindu titled, You can't read this Book by Hasan Suroor. It had a list of books that had been banned in India, first by the British and then by their Indian successors. In most cases the ban is on the import of the book, and as Salman Rushdie said in this hard hitting speech yesterday at the India Today Conclave, 2012, the Indian Customs department by a "sleight of hand" ban the import of the book without proscribing reading it. You can find the notifications of the Indian Custom department here, here,  here and here inter alia. I thought it might be a good idea find electronic copies of these banned books, already freely available on the internet, because the juvenile import bans by the Indian government trample on our right to freedom of expression and the moment we stop fighting for our rights, we lose them.


We are free to disagree to a small or large degree with any of the following books and are completely entitled to hold such opinions and take up the matter with the publisher/author. I personally am not in agreement with many of the views mentioned in the books below and do not endorse any opinion by the belowmentioned authors, however, throttling of the right to freedom of expression should not be tolerated. If have full right to be offended by any of these books, but violently acting on such feeling is not permitted. 

Do remember Voltaire famous statement: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."


Here's a list of the books famously banned in India and links to their electronic copies for reading and download (if available). Please feel free to email me the links/copies of other banned books on mail [at] arjunsheoran [dot] com, that you know of or find, so that they can be included on this archive - this is a work in progress.


  1. An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul (epub format)
  2. Rangeela Rasool by Pt Chamupati (1924) 
  3. Hindu Heaven, Max Wylie (1934)
  4. The Face of Mother India, Katherine Mayo (1936) (Available Online here as well with complete photographs)
  5. Old Soldier Sahib, Frank Richards (1936) (Order Hard copy Online here)
  6. The Land of the Lingam, Arthur Miles, (1937)
  7. Mysterious India, Moki Singh (1940)
  8. The Scented Garden (Anthropology of the Sex Life in the Levant), Bernhard Stern, translated by David Berger (1945) (order hard copy here)
  9. What has Religion done for Mankind, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (1955)
  10. Rama Retold, Aubrey Menen (1955)
  11. Dark Urge, Robert W. Taylor (1955)
  12. The Ramayana, Aubrey Menen (1956)
  13. Captive Kashmir, Aziz Beg (1958)
  14. The Heart of India, Alexander Campbell (1959)
  15. The Lotus and the Robot, Arthur Koestler (1960)
  16. Nine Hours to Rama, Stanley Wolpert (1962)
  17. Unarmed Victory, Bertrand Russell (1963)
  18. Nepal, Toni Hagen (1963) (watch a Documentary on Nepal by Toni Hagen)
  19. Ayesha, Kurt Frishchler, translated by Norman Denny (1963)
  20. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence (1964)
  21. The Jewel in the Lotus (A Historical Survey of the Sexual Culture of the East), Allen Edwards (1968)
  22. The Evolution of the British Empire and Commonwealth from the American Revolution, Alfred Le Ray Burt (1969)
  23. A Struggle between Two Lines over the Question of How to Deal with U.S. Imperialism, Fan Asid-Chu (1969)
  24. Man from Moscow, Greville Wynne (1970)
  25. Early Islam, Desmond Steward (1975)
  26. Nehru: A Political Biography, Michael Edwards (1975)
  27. India Independent, Charles Bettelheim (1976)
  28. China’s Foreign Relations Since 1949, Alan Lawrence (1978)
  29. Who killed Gandhi, Lourenco De Sadvandor (1979)
  30. Understanding Islam through Hadis, Ram Swarup (1982)
  31. Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim, Sunanda Datta-Ray (1984)
  32. The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (1988)
  33. Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew (1989)
  34. The Polyester Prince, Hamish McDonald (1998)
  35. The True Furqan, “Al Saffee” and “Al Mahdee” (1999)
  36. Islam: A Concept of Political World Invasion, R.V. Bhasin (2007 – Maharashtra)
  37. The Price of Power: Kissinger and Nixon in the White House by American journalist Seymour Hersh excerpts 
  38. Lajja, by Taslima Nasrin (Download the Hindi Translation

1 comment:

  1. Hi Arjun, I just stumbled upon your blog..
    I'm not too sure if you would remember me from school - but I just wanted to stop-by and say that this is good stuff :)

    ReplyDelete